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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Published on 30 April 2018
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

‘I never have any luck with my books’ – Collecting the works of Friedo Lampe

Lampe was born on 4 December 1899, in the northern city of Bremen, a place which would exert a particular influence on his writing. At the age of five, he was diagnosed with bone tuberculosis in his left ankle and was sent to a children's clinic over 100 miles away, on the East Frisian island of Nordeney; he spent a total of three years there, away from his family, before being pronounced cured, but it left him disabled for the rest of his life. As a teenager, Lampe was a voracious reader (E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kleist, Büchner, Rilke, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Boccaccio, Cervantes, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe) and an insatiable book buyer: 'It really is an illness with me. I just have to buy every book, even if I don't have the money.'
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Booksellers

Living With - And From - Books, Part 2

This catalogue, consisting of 34 pages, printed on plain paper in June 1921, for us is just like a "Number One Dime", a Disney's good luck charm at the beginning of a long series of publications. The index of subjects is already quite significant: next to fine arts, philosophy, Italian literature and religions, we find, as a matter of fact, unusual entries, such as "anecdotes", "curiosities", "erotica" and "freemasonry". Going through the pages of this family, but also historical, treasure, 90 years after its publication, is really touching. The delicate pages yellowed with dignity, its simple cover in light green wrappers, a little worn out and with a few brown spots, the border surrounding the title - that would have remained as the graphical design for some years to come - make this "elderly and distinguished gentleman" closer to the dust-jacket first editions of the beginning of the century, which are now for sale on the shelves of the bookshop, than to the modern and colourful recently published "colleagues".
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Book Thefts from the Girolamini Library - Press Articles

In April 2012 it was announced that 1500 books were missing from one of the richest and oldest libraries in Italy: the Girolamini Library in Naples. Shortly afterwards the library's director Marino Massimo de Caro was suspended, then arrested and accused of embezzlement along with four accomplices from Argentina and Ukraine. A number of stolen items from the library were confiscated in Munich, London, New York and Tokyo, but most of the books are still missing. It is not even known right now how many books were actually stolen. ILAB President Arnoud Gerits advises all booksellers to check their purchases of Italian books from the 15th to the 17th centuries if these volumes were purchased in the time period between January to May of 2012. Nearly every day, more and more news and background information become public. The book theft in the Girolamini Library turns out to be one of the most spectacular ever. Snippets from some of the most interesting press articles and YouTube clips.
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